Fantastic Books and Where to Find Them

Hi all,

You know I can’t resist a HP reference 😉 I hope you’ve all had a good week and are all prepared for Sunday – eek, where has the time gone? As you may know I’ve had a lovely time this month working my way through my Xmassy to-read list. I absolutely love Christmas reads at this time of year and since I’m hoping you might do too, I thought I would share a few of my favourites and where you can find them. There’s paranormal, historical, sweet reads and steamy scenes – so something for everyone!

kissesMistletoe Kisses: A Westmore Christmas – Erzabet Bishop – 4 stars

Amazon link

This was a really fun paranormal romance. Gargoyles aren’t something you see very often in these type of stories but the author has built a very rich and varied paranormal world, with shifters, demons and even a pink dragon all mentioned. This is obviously part of a series and it probably would have benefitted me to read earlier ones first as some of the background details were a little brief and I feel some of the secondary characters probably had their own stories already. That said, the main story was followable and I liked the characters a lot.

Jess is a very strong character. She’s gone through some terrible things and although she’s still traumatised in many ways, she hasn’t let it break her. She’s constantly trying to give back and help others, but I liked that she also had a sassy and sarcastic side (woman after my own heart lol).

Thorne was initially very reluctant to be stuck babysitting what he thought would be a spoilt princess but the relationship between them quickly develops. While I liked Thorne as a character, the relationship progression from his own point of view did feel a little jumpy at parts. He seemed to go from ‘he wanted her but needed to move on and he was no good for her anyway’ to ‘refuses to leave her’ pretty abruptly and I would have liked to see a little more of his internal journey there – especially with the back story that was only really hinted at.

This story could have easily been expanded for me. I would have loved to have seen their relationship progression in more detail and there were quite a few unanswered questions still left at the end (though perhaps they get resolved in a later installment). Overall though I really enjoyed the story, great characters and chemistry and a sweet Christmas backdrop. Will definitely be checking out others in this series.

angelThe Wrong Kind of Angel – Ruby Moone – 4 stars

Amazon link

Charles is resigned to a lonely Christmas alone, when a stranger collapses on his door in the middle of a snowstorm. The beautiful young might share his sexual tastes but despite what he says, Charles knows he’s no angel. Harry has secrets of his own, that mean he can’t stay with Charles, no matter how tempted he may be, and ones that could very well get them both killed.

I really liked both characters in this. Charles initially comes across as very shy, quiet, even a little meek, but it quickly becomes apparent that he has hidden depths and is very capable of taking care of himself – and those around him. Harry has had a rough life and has had to do things he isn’t proud of to survive, but you can see that he has kept a core decency in the way he’s tried to save Julian. It was nice to see how they balanced each other out and the relationship development was really sweet.

Steamy scenes, gripping actions and a Christmas backdrop – what more could you ask for?

secretSecret Santa – Lichelle Slater – 4 stars

Amazon link

Bell is a Secret Santa elf, tasked with helping people to rediscover their Christmas spirit. Unfortunately she’s failed with bar owner Drake the past years, but she’s determined this year she will find exactly what he needs for Christmas. Turns out it might just be her 🙂

This was an adorable little Christmas story. Bell is a really sweet character who genuinely cares about the people in her small town and goes out of her way to try and find what they need and to make their lives that little bit better. There was a great cast of secondary characters and a real community feel to the story. Drake wasn’t quite as well-developed for me – it might have been nice to see a bit from his point of view to help with that – but it was nice to see his progression from grumpy Scrooge to someone who was opening up to the festive season.

I did like their relationship development. The angst with Kristi did come across a little over-the-top at times and some of Bell’s assumptions didn’t really make sense to me – but the fact that she was a little naive in some ways didn’t make it seem as unbelievable as it otherwise might have been. Overall a really sweet Christmassy read. Would look for others from this author.

familyA Family for Christmas – Jay Northcote – 5 stars

Amazon link

This was a great read, just overflowing with Christmassyness (it’s a word!). Rudy has a crush on his co-worker Zac but is convinced it’s all one-sided. When he learns Zac is spending Christmas all alone though, he can’t resist asking him along to his own crazy family festivities. When his family all assume that he’s finally found a boyfriend he doesn’t have the heart to upset them at Christmas – and Zac agrees to go along with the pretence. Soon though it’s feeling a little more real than either of them expected.

I really liked the characters in this story. Rudy was sweet and shy, with an endearing habit of always putting his foot in it. Zac has obviously had a hard life and a tough outer shell to show for it. It was really lovely to see that breaking down though under the onslaught of Rudy and his whole family, and to see that there was a softer interior that was desperate for something more out of life. The relationship between them both was believable and I enjoyed the progression.

This was just brimming with lovely Christmas details, and I especially loved Rudy’s family with all their warmth, openness and occasional complete inappropriateness 🙂 Not a lot of angst along the way but a feel-good romance, perfect for the festive season.

migglesMerry Christmas Mr Miggles – Eli Easton – 5 stars

Amazon link

I just adored this book. Sweet, feel-good romance with just the right amount of Christmas spirit.

Toby is the junior librarian and loves his job. At the start of the story he has a horrible boyfriend and an ever-growing curiousity about his boss, the head librarian Mr Miggles. The older man is quiet, reserved, keeps himself to himself and Toby feels there’s always a sadness about him.

When Mr Miggles is wrongly arrested not only Toby but the whole town comes to realise just how much they miss him, and how much he quietly does behind the scenes for everyone.

This was a lovely story, there was a real small town community feel to it, with lots of interesting secondary characters. I loved the slow burn on the romance side, and the relationship development was sweet and believable. Both were well-developed characters; it was nice to see Toby growing and finding the strength to stand up for both himself and people he cared about, while Sean had to learn to loosen up a bit and let people in again. They were a great couple who really complemented each other well.

Overall, really enjoyable festive read. Will definitely be looking for more from this author.

And if you’re still looking for something I may have an angel themed Christmassy romance out myself 😉

angel-cover-7Divine Justice

He was sent to judge her… not fall for her.

As a justice angel, Jeremiah had been dispensing heavenly judgement for millenia. While he used to love his job, take pride it, then centuries of watching humans turn to selfishness and greed had left him cynical and bitter. These were no fit emotions for an angel and when he is summoned before the Archangel Council he is willing to accept his fate. Instead he is given one final task, one last judgement.

Holly was used to being alone. It didn’t mean she didn’t love her life, her friends, her work at the shelter. For Christmas though, she just wanted one thing; hope. Hospital tests were never fun and Holly had spent enough time being poked and prodded to never want to go through it again. When she encounters the mysterious Jeremiah she knows there’s something different about him. Something that has her inviting him in out of the cold and into her home, where the fire isn’t the only thing keeping them warm.

As secrets pile up faster than the snow outside, and lives hang in the balance, can Holly and Jeremiah both manage to get what they really want this Christmas?

Amazon link

Smashwords

Have a lovely Christmas weekend. Take care x

Guest Author Tami Veldura with Learning to Want

Hi all,

Yay, it’s Friday – and Black Friday at that, so if you’re out shopping I hope you manage to grab some bargains 🙂 It seems to have got even colder here – the canal outside my house has frozen over and am huddled over my teeny work fire. Still, can’t be all bad, my parents are coming up to visit this weekend – plus I have the fab Tami Veldura dropping by. She’s chatting about her new release, Learning to Want – a sci-fi LGBT romance with elements of D/S and a full POC cast (I’m slightly in awe of someone who can fit all that into one novel – could you really ask for anything more?)

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So, let’s start with you telling us a bit about yourself.

I’m a gemini, I enjoy long walks on the beac–wait, wrong bio. Let’s see: I’m a full time writer with a dragon obsession and this persistent idea that if I insist hard enough, my whole life will look like the happily ever after in my favorite romance books. I’m easily distracted by small kittens and have a book buying problem. So many more people know me as Tami than my legal name that I may just change it one day.

Nothing wrong with a dragon or book buying obsession *whistles innocently* Was there a specific moment where you first knew that you wanted to be a writer?

When I was eight I was just starting school for the year and my mother took me to target for supplies. At the time, Lisa Frank was the brand to have and I came home with a pile of rainbow folders. Inside each folder, on the flap for your papers, was a two or three sentence paragraph about that Lisa Frank character: the unicorn, the puppies, the kittens.

I copied that paragraph from each of my folders onto a piece of paper and brought it to my mother. My first story. She put it on the fridge.

At the time I didn’t know writing was a thing, all I knew was the stories I was reading and the worlds I was living in were amazing and I needed more. Faster. So I’d start writing them myself.

Do you have a particular writing routine or any special rituals?

I tend to have ideas pop into my head throughout the day, especially when I’m out and about on the weekends encountering people and places.

But the average workday starts with a breakfast of grits or oatmeal, tea, and some time snuggling my pet rats while I wake up. I always keep a water bottle on my side table, but sometimes I’ll add a bottle of gatorade if I’m feeling dehydrated. I review my social sites and writing forum, just catching up on the world, but by 8AM I sit down on my corner of the couch and start writing. I try to write for at least 3 hours every day, but sometimes editing or a book release can skew the schedule. The rest of my day is filled with all the administration work that comes with hybrid publishing. Some of my books are self published and managed, while others are through small presses.

I’d like to add copywork to my morning routine before I start writing. Copywork is a technique that’s been used for generations to teach kids how to write and by authors to study their betters. Regular copywork can improve handwriting, but it’s also very meditative, can improve vocabulary and technique, and act as a mental trigger for an artist to enter that flow state where creativity and intent align into perfect productivity.

Sounds interesting, may need to have a look into! Tell us about the genre you write in, and what drew you to it.

Initially, my writing was traditional high and low fantasy coming of age stories, since that’s what I grew up reading. But in high school I transitioned into fanfiction, specifically the slash corner of the fanfic world where I discovered all kinds of story types that I hadn’t ever seen before.

Now, I write romance, science fiction, and fantasy with LGBT+ characters and themes. I’ve been publishing regularly in the genre since 2010, but in 2015 I discovered asexuality and realized that I belonged in this subgroup as well. It’s not a surprise I was drawn to the people and themes in these stories since I was living them myself. It’s been a much more personal journey since then.

Are there any particular authors or books that have really inspired you?

Oh there is a list of people who are constantly impressing me with their ability to craft a world or pivot their business. Amelia Faulkner, Cecil Wilde, and E. Davis off the top of my head. My focus lately has been developing stories that appeal to a mainstream audience to attract a more stable income stream. I’m learning immense things from these established authors and I can’t wait to see how my readership grows.

What four things could you never do without?

My phone: you might be surprised how much business I manage on a daily basis through my smartphone. Twitter, email, google hangouts–I’m constantly on my phone communicating with editors, readers, coworkers and more. I have all of my work saved in the cloud, so phone access is possible on any file or book I could ever need to reference. A day without my phone puts me far behind!

The chromebook: A few years ago my life situation was a lot different than it is now. I had a day job with a decent commute and spent much of my time on the road outside of work, too. I needed a laptop that could go everywhere with me. I’ve written books on my phone, but that is a tough process I wouldn’t recommend to anyone. The chromebook was the solution I decided on. With all my work in google’s cloud I could access it anywhere I could find wifi (hello Starbucks and Panera) but I could also sit in the car and write on a draft on a full keyboard.

The chromebook is several years old now but still as zippy as ever. It’s my primary computer and sitting down to write anywhere and everywhere is easy. And it was only 200$ 😉

Internet: While I could survive for a long time without the internet, ultimately my entire business requires it to function. I contact editors and artists through email. I connect with other authors on forums. I interact with my fans on social media. I even save my stories on the cloud.

My Fiance: Is this a cliche? I’m supposed to avoid those 😉 Seriously, Fiance is critical to the success of my work. He supports me financially while I get this career underway which is both heartwarming and a heavy expectation. He knows I will be a famous author someday. That unconditional support is invaluable. He helps in smaller ways too, from traveling with me for research to reminding me to eat lunch. That second one happens more often than it should XD

Tell us a bit about your new release.

bannerLearning To Want is my latest novella and features a 100% POC cast. It’s a science fiction story set on an alien world where the ruling class uses sexual dominance and submission shows as political power. Atash is stuck at the bottom of the class system and hopes to teach Khoram how to submit. Khoram, meanwhile, is trying to avoid being killed by a mercenary clan boss: his former employer!

Ooh, sounds intriguing! Where did your inspiration for it come from?

The initial story was only five thousand words long and spawned from a call for submissions for an anthology about BDSM with a small press. I didn’t end up in the anthology, but when Nine Star accepted the story for publication, they asked me to expand it into a novella. Much of the world and action/adventure plot developed out of that expansion process and took me several months!

What did you find most enjoyable about writing it?

I loved imagining the details of an alien world and bringing that vision to life. Dulia has a native species called the Frea that are well-adapted to their desert planet, but half a dozen other alien species make appearances in the story as well.

That sounds like so much fun! I love the world-building side of things. What was the hardest part about writing it?

The hardest part, but also fun, was definitely the details of Frea culture. I wanted to develop an alien race that was interesting and complex, not just window dressing for a story, but only the readers can tell me if I succeeded.

Who’s your favorite character in it? (I know, I know, favouritism!)

Oh this one is easy: Madam Zoya! (That’s right I love my antagonist). Without Zoya, this book would have turned out much differently. When I first started writing she was just a convenient backstory name, but as the story evolved and grew her role expanded as well and became a critical driving force for not one, but both protagonists.

Hehe, I’m glad I’m not the only one who loves my villains! Why should we run out and buy it right now?

You should run out and buy it right now because there’s a bonus sexy scene in my newsletter for readers to enjoy and you’re going to want to know all the details!

 

Check out the book details 🙂

coverBlurb

Khoram is an enforcer, a bodyguard, but his boss has just betrayed him. Now he’s stranded on a desert planet he’s never heard of, chained to the only other human around.

Atash grew up in the cracks of Dulia’s complex social structure, where dominance and submission are a man’s worth. He’s struggled for years on a lower caste but Khoram could be his ticket to a better life if they can find common ground.

Atash wants to teach Khoram the art of submitting by choice and maybe make a name for himself along the way. Khoram, however, isn’t here to play Atash’s political games. He’s going to escape, if his former employer doesn’t see him killed first.

And you can get your hands on a copy here:

Amazon

Ninestar Press

Take care x

Guest Author Alyson Pearce with The Viscount and the Artist

Hi all,

Well, weekend is here – although I’m stuck working a 12 hour shift tomorrow so perhaps not the most fun one! You may have noticed we migrated to a new site (though don’t worry if you’ve come from the old one, it should just divert you through!). Since some of you probably know I’m not the most technically-minded of people so do bear with me if there’s any odd blips – hopefully it should all be smoothly running very soon 🙂

Today though, I have the fab Alyson Pearce dropping by – and if you’re looking for a fun Regency read for the weekend then you may be in luck!

 

So, let’s start with you telling us a bit about yourself (bio).

aylsonpearcelogo-fI’m an American currently living in London and working in publishing. I fell in love with romances after discovering my grandmother’s collection, and I haven’t looked back! As a member of the LGBT community, I believe that everyone deserves their happily ever after, and try to incorporate that into my romances. In addition to writing, I’m one half of Between the Lines Editing, an editorial services company for LGBT romance. The Viscount and the Artist is my first book.

Exciting 🙂 Was there a specific moment where you first knew that you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve loved writing since I was a child. When I was five, my grandma gave me a blank piece of paper and a pencil, and I wrote a ‘short story’ of about five sentences. I kept at it, writing more short stories, which were always encouraged. At twelve, I started writing my first novel—which I abandoned—and during my undergraduate years, I wrote fanfiction and the first draft of what became The Viscount and the Artist.

Do you have a particular writing routine, or any special rituals?

I’m a planner to the core. Before I write a single word, I spend a solid month figuring out who the characters are, what they’re like, what their motivations are. I plot out what’s going to happen, almost down to the chapter. Once I have a good idea of the direction I’m going in, then and only then will I start writing. When I write, I have to have music or noise of some kind in the background. I find that ambient mixes help set the mood of a scene. I’m also not one of those people who can write scenes out of order, so I suppose that’s part of the routine.

Lol, I may be in awe of those planning skills – I’m afraid pantser to the core here 🙂 Tell us about the genre you write in, and what drew you to it.

I write M/M historical romance. I’ve always loved historical romances. Authors like Lisa Kleypas and Elizabeth Hoyt drew me in, and when I discovered M/M historical romance, I fell in love with them immediately. I’ve always found the Regency era fascinating, and being able to look at a different side than is presented in mainstream romance was a lot of fun!

I do agree there’s just something about Regency times, it’s a period I’d love to be able to ‘step into’. Are there any particular authors or books that have really inspired you?

The first authors I ever read in the genre were Bonnie Dee and Summer Devon. Their books Seducing Stephen and The Gentleman and the Rogue were my first M/M historical romances, and I fell in love with the setting and the characters. They were the entire reason I started writing M/M romance to begin with, so they’ll always have a special place in my heart. I also adore KJ Charles’ Society of Gentlemen series, which I think is absolutely brilliant, and Heidi Cullinan’s A Private Gentleman.

What five things could you never do without?

A laptop with wifi, my phone, my Alpha reader (she’s the only reason The Viscount and the Artist exists!), my support network of authors and friends, and chocolate chip cookies—they’re my biggest weakness!

Hehe, I may be with you the cookies! Tell us a bit about your new release.

The Viscount and the Artist is a Regency romance, set in 1813. It follows Andrew, a damaged viscount, and a young artist named Jeremy. Still recovering from the death of his uncle and a wound he received in the Napoleonic War, Andrew sponsors Jeremy for the Season with the intention of helping him find a patron. He believes the arrangement will be temporary—but what he doesn’t anticipate is how much he’ll come to care for Jeremy. Facing pressure from his father to become a curate, Jeremy takes Andrew up on his offer to go to London. Although he knows his time with Andrew is limited, he can’t help falling for him, even after discovering Andrew intends to wed a woman he doesn’t love. The two must work through a multitude of obstacles—not in the least of which is their own doubts about their relationship—to find happiness.

Ooh, sounds intriguing. Where did your inspiration for it come from?

The inspiration for writing an M/M historical romance was simply that I couldn’t find anymore, so I decided to write my own. For this particular book/series, I discovered the real Society of Eccentrics very early on in my research into the Regency era, and knew that I wanted to include it in some way, so I based the series around it. The Society of Eccentrics included a lot of philanthropy and patronage of the arts, which has always been close to my heart, so each of the books features a different creative type (artist, actor, musician, and author.)

Sounds like a fab concept for a series, can’t wait to see them all coming! What did you find most enjoyable about writing it?

I loved the planning that went into it—getting to know not only the plot and the setting, but more importantly, the characters. I loved developing Andrew and Jeremy and seeing who they were and why they loved each other. I also really loved writing scenes where they’re intimate—and I don’t just mean the sex! There’s a scene where the two of them sneak away from an assembly to have a quiet moment together and they have an almost Pride and Prejudice moment where it’s just the two of them dancing where no one else can see. I loved writing those moments like that.

Aww, that sounds so sweet. What was the hardest part about writing it?

Keeping the motivation up and the momentum going. This was my first novel, and it’s something that I’ve been working on for a few years now, but I’ve only really been putting all my effort into it for about a year. It’s definitely more of a marathon than a sprint. Sometimes it was difficult to stay excited about the plot and invested in the characters, but I had fantastic critique partners and beta readers who helped me keep my morale up.

True, and I think something we all face. Who’s your favourite character in it? (I know, I know, favouritism!)

Oh now this question just isn’t fair! I love all of them! If I had to pick a favourite, it would be one of the side characters, actually, Percy. He’s the voice of reason in the story and the only one who seems to think with his head instead of his heart (and other parts.) Book two of The Eccentrics series will follow him, so I’m excited to get started on it!

Lol, I do love when your side characters insist of getting their own story told. Why should we run out and buy it right now? 🙂

It’s got just the right mix of romance, sex, and historical charm, with just a dash of mystery! Plus, as it’s the start of a series, you’re guaranteed more fun Regency stories to come.

 

You can’t argue with that 😉 Check out the book details here:

tvata-400-x-600Blurb

Andrew Cardwell is a man driven by duty to his country and to his family. After the death of his uncle, he’s determined to provide security and stability for his family as the new Viscount Cardwell—even if that means marrying and producing an heir. Surprising himself, Andrew decides to sponsor a young artist named Jeremy for the season, to help him find a patron. What he doesn’t anticipate is how well Jeremy fits in his bed…and his life.
Jeremy Leighton knows what it’s like to be a disappointment. The only son of a vicar, he’s refused to follow the path his father set for him, choosing his passion for art, instead. He accepts Andrew’s proposal, hoping to prove to his father—and himself—that he can succeed as an artist. After spending time with Andrew in and out of bed, Jeremy struggles not to fall for the damaged viscount, knowing the season will likely end in Andrew’s engagement.
Between a meddling cousin, a widow on the hunt for a new husband, and their own doubts about the relationship, how can Andrew and Jeremy shed the expectations of others to find true happiness?
You can get your hands on a copy here:
Buy Links:
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/TVATABN
And don’t forget to follow Alyson on social media to keep up with her news and when the rest in the series are coming out 🙂
Social Media:

Take care x

Guest Author – T Strange with My Zombie Fiancé

Hi all,

Well, Friday is finally here and yay for weekend! It’s kicking off to a good start since I have the wonderful T Strange visiting to chat about her new release, My Zombie Fiance. Now, you probably know I’m no stranger to zombie-themed books (and with a special weakness for zombie cats lol!) so this looks like a fab read for the weekend 🙂 She’s going to start by talking about the book setting – always interesting.

 

family teaserAll of My Zombie Boyfriend took place in one city, but in My Zombie Fiancé Edward has to leave his comfort zone and head to Kingston—Ontario.

I don’t remember exactly how it happened. It might have just been for the joke:

““I have to go to Kingston.”

Oh my God, no way! I’d love to go to Jamaica!”

Kingston, Ontario.”

Oh.”

I certainly didn’t set out to write a novel set in Ontario, especially a city I’ve never (shhh!) been to, but I think it’s fitting. I have a lot of roots in Ontario; the ancestor I can trace back the furthest in my family tree, a band major who served in the British Army in India, moved to Ontario and started a farm. My ancestors farmed in Ontario for several generations, until they headed West. I’m sure I still have many relatives there.

There’s a new character in My Zombie Fiancé, Claude Jenkins, who is a little tip of my hat to those early Ontario farmers. Even his name has meaning for me—my grandfather’s middle name is Claude, and it was his father’s name, too.

I also apparently have a thing for string players from Ontario??? My last ex was a double bass player from Toronto, and my wife is a cellist from Hamilton (she insists that she isn’t from Hamilton, because she was very young when her family left and she doesn’t remember it. But she was at least span born there.

Ontario is a beautiful province, and one I’d like to explore more in the future! I hope My Zombie Fiancé will encourage and inspire you to visit.

I would love to visit Canada some day – though wouldn’t say no to Jamaica either 😉 Can you tell us a bit about your new release, My Zombie Fiance?

My Zombie Fiancé coverEdward Grey is no stranger to the undead; since raising his cat as a zombie when he was a child, he and his mentor Mariel have explored and developed his power as a necromancer. Despite everything he’s learned, as a necromancer and a medical student, he’s never encountered a ghost.

While Mariel is unreachable in Haiti on mysterious business, a ghost wakes Edward in the middle of the night, claiming to be his grandfather. When the ghost offers to teach him about this different form of undeath, Edward has little choice but to trust the spirit.

After receiving a phone call from a young girl claiming her father is possessed, Edward and his Undead Canadian fiancé, Kit, must travel to an acreage in Kingston…Ontario.

The haunting proves far more complicated than Edward could ever have guessed, and he finds himself pitted against an ancient evil determined to engulf everyone on the farm.

Edward’s love and connection to Kit will be tested, and his necromancy stretched to his limits as he has to find—and destroy—a twisted spirit more powerful than anything he’s ever encountered.

With your purchase of My Zombie Fiancé from Torquere Press you will receive a free copy of My Zombie Cat. eBooks purchased from Torquere Press include all eBook file formats, including Kindle (mobi)

stupid-Edward teaser

Ooh, well if you’re not convinced by now I can’t help you 🙂 You can get your hands on a copy here:

http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=97&products_id=4695

T. Strange author imageDon’t forget to follow T Strange on social media:

Blogger

Facebook Author Page

Facebook

Twitter @AuthorTStrange

Goodreads

Amazon 

Pinterest 

Torquere Pres

 

Take care x

Guest Author Patricia Logan – Writing M/M Romance

Hi all,

Apologies for the lack of posts this week, with being back at the day job as well as getting lots of new writing in (yay!) the routine has slipped slightly! Hopefully should be back to normal next week 🙂 However, today I’m very happy to have the lovely Patricia Logan visiting. Patricia has a new release out, Say My Name, and is talking about some of her experiences with writing M/M romance. I’m always fascinated by why people are drawn to the genres they write in, as well the issues they might face along the way, so am looking forward to hearing her views. Take it away, Patricia 🙂

 

Patricia Logan Author PicI write MM romance. As most authors, I write the genre where I am comfortable, where I can sit down at the keyboard and have the characters come alive beneath my fingers. They have to be fleshed out in my mind before I can put them down on paper.

I have a great love for heroes. I discovered romance novels when I was twelve and I began to devour them. Nothing fueled my youthful romantic head more than the way I imagined heroic men, claiming the damsel in distress. This kept me reading for more than forty years. When I discovered erotica, I made a transition from MF to menage MFM and then suddenly one day I picked up a MMF menage by accident. When I read love scenes with the two men together, I became fascinated and began to search out this new genre to me. MM became the place I was most excited to read.

When I began writing, back in 2007, after a couple fumbles with MF, I sat down and began a MM book. Once I began outlining Leather Nights (my first published book), I knew that I’d found my home. Writing a love story between two men became my passion and I have never looked back.

Once I was published, I gravitated to FB because it was fairly new and I began meeting other authors, discovering that they had many of the same thoughts, fantasies, and real-life challenges as I did. They became people I could reach out to who understood where I was in my writing life when I couldn’t expect the same understanding from my family.

Writing MM is very different from other genres. First, authors of gay erotica are such a mixed bag of life experiences with one common goal: to write characters who embody a sometimes uncomfortable truth about themselves, primarily their attraction to the same sex. Sometimes this is a journey our characters take, transitioning from a place where they are searching for the truth within themselves. Sometimes that means embracing the men they always knew they were inside and sometimes that means pushing aside their fears and letting the world know who they are, namely, unashamedly saying they love another man.

As a straight woman, my family couldn’t understand why I began writing in this genre. After being published almost 6 years, with over 40 books, they still accept what I do grudgingly at best, but anyone who knows me, understands that I don’t sway easily. I am very stubborn and in my case, stubbornness was necessary to keep me motivated.

It’s not all rainclouds however bad it sounds. The lukewarm support at home has been disappointing but I have compensated with having relationships with other authors who do what I do. Authors can be an amazing support group and cheering section and their love and encouragement has kept me going. I’ve also made lifetime friendships and that in and of itself, makes this whole thing worthwhile.

 

Thanks so much for sharing. I’m glad that you’ve found your niche and are managing to find a support network for it. I love the support I’ve had from other writers and it’s nice to see other also getting a positive experience.

So, let’s have a look at Patricia’s new release!

Cover - Say My NameBlurb

Dawson Thomas is a rent boy, a young man who goes out hoping to impress a man who’ll pay him to be a submissive for a kinky night together. One night he accompanies a friend to a BDSM club in New York. Raw Hide is a place where men gather to live out their fantasies and Dawson can’t believe his good luck when the owner invites him upstairs to be paid for a night of kink. When others whisper that

the man is hideously deformed, calling him “The Monster”, Dawson remembers the cost of his tuition and puts aside his fears, accompanying the bodyguard to the man’s apartment.

Each night, Cole Chambliss paces in his rooms above Raw Hide, watching beautiful submissives give themselves to their Doms, just a few steps down the stairs. Cole longs for days past when he could go out in public… when no one would stare at him in horror. After paying a bitter price when fighting for his country, Cole knows his days of walking among whole men are gone forever… that is until one night he takes a risk that terrifies him. The stunning submissive who’s caught his eye is something extraordinary and Cole decides he must chance everything for one last shot at happiness.

One dark night, one desperate risk, and one horrifying request later, Cole hears the words he’s feared since his return from the war. “Say my name, Sir… please just… say my name…”

 

If you’re wanting to grab a copy (and I think I’m definitely convinced!) the buy links are here:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Say-My-Name-Bound-Love-ebook/dp/B0190UV0MM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1449864140&sr=8-1&keywords=Say+my+Name+logan

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-saymyname-1940624-354.html

And don’t forget to follow Patricia on social media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ploganauthor

Website: http://authorpatricialogan.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PatriciaLogan1

Enjoy your Sunday x

 

Christmas Reading Recommends

Hi all,

Just a few days to go until Christmas! Are you all feeling festive? I’ve been enjoying getting through lots of Christmassy reads, some new and a couple re-reads from previous years – so I thought I would share reviews on a few of my personal favourites, in case you’re looking for a bit of inspiration 🙂

 

27256825The Perfect Gift (3 Wise Men) – Serenity Woods – 4 star

This was an enjoyable and sweet read about two people with troubled pasts who come together. Brock is just passing the two year anniversary of his wife’s death from cancer, he always swore that he would never love again, but single mum Erin makes him question that vow. Erin has always had terrible taste in men, ending with her son’s father who left them when she was pregnant, and has tried to focus on her son since, especially with him having life-threatening asthma attacks. While drawn to Brock, a doctor who has helped with her son’s treatment, she struggles with self-esteem in wondering what a billionaire doctor would see in her.

The struggles of both the characters were done well, and were relatable to. Brock’s guilt over moving on after his wife, and Erin’s struggle to accept being with someone rich after scrimping for every penny for years. It was nice to see them both working through those though and coming together. Could have maybe done with a little more conflict, but then I’m maybe a bit evil and like my characters to suffer a bit for their HEA lol!

I did really like the background of Brock in particular, he and his two brothers combine their very different skills to help sick children, calling themselved the ‘Three Wise Men’. The insight into the other two brothers was interesting and I’m assuming they will have their own stories to follow. I also liked a lot of the secondary characters, and Erin’s son was really cute, would have been nice to see more of him.

Overall, a fun and sweet story about people finding love when they had both given up on it. I will be looking out for more in the series.

Buy link: Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/The-Perfect-Gift-Christmas-Billionaire-ebook/dp/B014HGM9YM

 

23508066.jpgFrosty Relations – Tara Quan – 4 stars

Mina is a familar while Jack Frost (as you might guess by the name lol) is a frost mage/warlock. They’ve known each other since childhood, Mina has always been in love with him and was destined to be Jack’s familar, instead he rejected her and that life and now they both work in ‘normal’jobs. When they both sign up for a paranormal one-night stand service they end up matched with each other.

It’s hard to find something a bit different when reading PNR but this managed it. Mina and Jack were both quite different kinds of paranormal creatures to the usual and I liked the details on their powers and the way they complemented each other magically. Mina was a great character, strong and independent, not afraid to stand up to Jack and their banter was fun and amusing. Jack initially came off as a bit of a petulant child, used to having his own way in everything, but you saw more to him as the story went on and he became a much more likeable character. It was also fascinating to see him using his powers in the bedroom – it certainly made things interesting 😉

Overall, a really enjoyable and fun story. Will definitely look for more in this series.

Buy link: Amazon- http://www.amazon.com/Frosty-Relations-Witchs-Night-Book-ebook/dp/B00PCYLPWQ/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

 

51+azFaf41L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Blame it on the Fruitcake – Pat Henshaw – 4 stars

Sam is a working-class mechanic who has no family and was raised in a children’s home. When he arrives home to fruitcake on his doorstep and an invite to his new neighbours party he isn’t going to bother going – until he tastes the fruitcake! When he meets his new neighbour, Jay, he doesn’t understand why someone so hot, with a fancy job and a loving family would be interested in him.

This was a really fun and sweet read. Sam’s obsession with fruitcake was hilarious, as well as his despair with Jay’s meddling family. They were a lovely couple and you did slightly want to shake Sam sometimes for his insecurities, but it was nice to see him starting to work through them. I’m not always a fan of first person narrative but it did work well here, Sam’s internal voice was really funny and I loved some of his turns of phrases. It might have been nice to get a little more insight into Jay’s side of things, but that’s the trade-off I suppose.

Overall, this was a really sweet and funny romance that will def get you in the Christmas mood – and probably wanting fruitcake! Will def look for more from this author.

Buy link: Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Blame-Fruitcake-2015-Advent-Calendar-ebook/dp/B018RUW5XO

 

indexNot so Silent Night – Sheri Velarde – 4 stars

Anna is a witch and a Christmas cynic so is not looking forward to the holidays – all that changes when a gorgeous Russian bear shifter shows up at her flower shop. There’s instant sparks between them but they will have to deal with trouble from the local werewolf pack.

This was a hot and steamy romance, with a nice Christmas theme. I liked Anna as a character and her powers were fascinating, it also was interesting to see them growing as the story progressed. Alexander was a scrummy shifter hero, but it was nice to see a change from the over-the-top alpha personality that often seems to go with that. While he was protective of Anna, he was also sweet and believed in her own abilities. The sex scenes were well-written and definitely fan-inducing 😉

Overall, a fun paranormal read, with a good mix of sweet and sexy.

Buy link: Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Not-Silent-Night-Sheri-Velarde-ebook/dp/B0187T305M

 

index2Heart of the Season – Julianna Douglas – 5 stars

This really did have it all in a Christmas story, gorgeous yet scarred military hero, sweet yet strong animal activist, adorable hero dog, and a few Christmas miracles 🙂

Zach would never have survived the bomb blast that scarred his body and took his leg if it wasn’t for Akilah, the dog he befriended in Afganistan. When he wakes up back in hospital in the US, it’s not his leg he misses the most, but his furry best friend. He’s been desperately trying to get her out of there, but with military regulations and the remote location of the base it’s been an impossible task. Enter Jeannie, who runs an animal shelter in Afganistan, specialising in helping military personnel get their animals home.

The relationship development between them was really well done, being on opposite sides of the world they initially can only communicate over email and skype, which was a little unusual and allowed you to see the emotional attachment growing between them even before they had ever met in person. Jeannie was a really sweet and caring person, passionate about her work and protective of the people she cares about. Zach – well, what can I say?

Gorgeous army hero with a love for animals – yes please. I liked that the author didn’t make him too perfect though, his insecurities about himself after his accident, as well as issues from a past relationship give him a vulnerability, and it was nice to see him starting to get some self-esteem back by the end, with Jeannie’s help.

This was a well-paced story, great characters, including some good supporting players, a sweet and well-developed love story, some steamy sex and a strong belief in Christmas miracles. Really enjoyed it and will definitely be looking for more from this author.

Buy link: Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Heart-Season-Loving-Hearts-Book-ebook/dp/B012VN5ZLM/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

 

HolidaysInHell_ByErzabetBishop-453x680Holidays in Hell – Erzabet Bishop – 4 stars

Jonas is an incubus, trapped into a deal with a demon, he has to deliver a certain number of souls within a timeframe or he’s dead. There’s just one soul to go, but time is running short. When he meets Holly, a erotica reading book-seller who is still mourning her husband and dom, they have an instant connection. Will Jonas be willing to sacrifice her though?

This was a fun read, short and steamy. Jonas was an interesting character, the big bad demon with a secret love for all things Christmassy. Holly was sweet and endearing, trying to come to terms with the loss of her beloved husband, while struggling with the guilt of being able to move on. The sex scenes were steamy and well-written, and though I would personally have liked a little more on the relationship development side, I appreciate you don’t always get that in a short story.

I thought some of the secondary characters were interesting, and would be intrigued to see more of them in further books. They did all suddenly seem to appear out of nowhere at the end though, and the ending for me did feel a little rushed, I would have liked it to be more of a confrontation between Jonas and Bael. Personal preference though I suppose.

Overall, this was an enjoyable read, hot demons, some steamy sex, and a good dose of Christmas spirit.

Buy link: Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Holidays-Hell-Demons-Darkness-Book-ebook/dp/B0199AU1QE/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1450830103&sr=1-2&keywords=erzabet+bishop+holidays

 

index3Ribbon of Darkness: The Trouble with Elves, Book 1 – Decadent Kane – 4 stars

Ribbon lived a perfectly normal life, working in her parents bookstore. But now, weird things are happening to her ears, the hot and mysterious Draven keeps showing up, and before she knows it Ribbon is finding out that not only is she not what she seems, but that her and her family may be the only ones who can save Christmas.

I’m a big fan of Decadent Kane’s elves and this delivers a fun and sexy short read with a nice dose of Christmas spirit. Ribbon is an endearing and relatable character while Draven takes Santa’s elves in a whole different direction 😉 Enjoyable read, and will definitely warm you up on cold winter nights!

Buy link: Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Ribbon-Darkness-Trouble-Elves-Book-ebook/dp/B00XSZQZIK/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1450830149&sr=1-1&keywords=ribbon+of+darkness+decadent

 

Angel 600x400Am sure there’s something there to tempt you! And if don’t forget I have a Christmassy read out as well, if you haven’t checked it out already, An Angel for the Tree is at these links 🙂

Amazon: getBook.at/AngelfortheTree

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1068305251

Nook/Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/an-angel-for-the-tree-shelli-rosewarne/1114512565;jsessionid=9EDB3BF630242896981C8DD2E2C10911.prodny_store01-atgap09?ean=2940152724677

Hope you have a lovely and festive week 🙂

 

Guest Author Interview – Matthew J Metzger

Hi all,

Well, it’s been a busy week but yay for weekend. Today, I have the fab Matthew J Metzger visiting, for the first time I might add, so am very excited to find out more about him 🙂

WelcomeMatthew *waves* So, let’s start with you telling us a bit about yourself.

Well, I’m an asexual transman with six tattoos (and counting!) and a distinct lack of height. I’ve just moved back to Yorkshire in the UK, and my accent is slipping accordingly! I’ve been writing since I was three, and my first book came out when I was twenty-two. I write primarily LGBT fiction, both adult and young adult. When I’m not writing, I’m usually working or planning to travel. My next major holiday is going to be a month in New Zealand, but I’m hoping to make some of the US romance conferences before then. Will that do?

That will do fine! I’m a Lancashire lass originally, but shall try not to hold the Yorkshire thing against you 😉 Was there a specific moment where you first knew that you wanted to be a writer?

No. Like I said, I was making up stories when I was still figuring out what my feet were for (clue: not putting in my mouth) and writing them down since I could hold a pen. Writing books was more or less a natural extension for me. And as I never wanted to make a living or a career out of it, I never had that ‘aha!’ moment for it.

Do you have a particular writing routine, or any special rituals?

Again, no (wow, I am really boring…). I just kind of…do it. Mostly in bits and pieces after work, but I’ve lost a few weekends here and there. There’s no real rituals or special places I do it.

Lol, don’t worry, I tend to be the same way – my writing rotuine consists of ‘when I have time to do it’. Tell us about the genre you write in, and what drew you to it.

I write primarily LGBT romance. Romance because it’s so character-focused, and LGBT because I’m queer as hell myself and I always had more interest in writing queer characters. I write both adult and young adult books, usually just depending on what the particular story wants to be. And I write a surprising amount of sex for an asexual guy…

It’s interesting what comes out that you don’t expect, isn’t it? Are there any particular authors or books that have really inspired you?

I…don’t read much. Haven’t for years. And I never read romance to begin with, so…yeah. I’m a bit of a strange one in this genre.

Hehe, well at least you know you aren’t being influenced by any other writings – though I must admit I don’t know how I’d cope sometimes without a good book to destress with. If you’re not a big reader then, what five things could you never do without?

The internet, my phone and my laptop. Easily the top three, not in any particular order. I’d probably put the laptop first because I can’t write without it. I think my day job as well, I absolutely love it and it keeps me happy when the writing world can drive me mad and make me distinctly unhappy at times. And for the fifth…I don’t really know. My lungs? Pretty sure I couldn’t do without my lungs.

Nope, I think they might be on the necessary list 😉 So, tell us a bit about your new release.

Thicker Than Bone is a story about Ali, a perpetually nice kind of guy, being asked to donate bone narrow to his older brother, Tony, who has cancer. And usually, Ali wouldn’t even need to be asked for a stranger, never mind his own brother. Except that Tony is an extreme racist, and nearly murdered Ali’s partner several years earlier for being of Muslim extraction.

The book is really a joint look at the phrase ‘blood is thicker than water’ and the ethical question ‘if you could save a life, no matter whose it was, would you?’ And Ali faces both. He has to decide whether blood is thicker than water, or whether his love for Yazid is even thicker than that. And he has to decide whether he can ethically save or condemn the man who nearly killed his boyfriend.

It was a lot of fun to write in many ways, this juggling act between love and family that Ali is undertaking, and the balance between the very dark and serious aspect of their lives in relation to Tony, and the much more light-hearted, fun and loving way that Ali and his partner, Yazid, interact with each other.

Wow, that definitely sounds like a thought-provoking read. Where did your inspiration for it come from?

The oddest little place — I had a daydream in my head with a guy at a kitchen counter, doing something. I didn’t know what he looked like, who he was, or what he was doing, but he was there. And in sneaks his boyfriend, who just tiptoes up behind him and then attack-hugs him. It was just this silly, slice-of-life scene about this two guys messing around and being a bit daft.

Only the intruder was definitely, right from the very beginning, from the Middle East. I just knew that, the moment he appeared in the daydream. And I found myself asking what his story was, this happy guy with a boyfriend and a nice kitchen. Who was he? Where was he from? What religion was he? Did his family know? Did his boyfriend’s family like him? Were they both British, or was he an immigrant? From where? Did they live somewhere with racial tensions, or was it all fine in their immediate area? Did he still practice any religion?

Thicker Than Bone was born around that scene, and yet, weirdly, that scene never appeared in the final book!

It’s weird isn’t it, how the smallest little snippet can spark so much 🙂 What did you find most enjoyable about writing it?

Weirdly, Tony. Tony was awesome to write. He was just so openly vile that I enjoyed every minute of him, and how the other characters reacted to him. I had strangers in bars telling him to shut up, I had Yazid being very withering about him even while his presence was understandably frightening for Yazid. I even had to Google more racist terms for Muslims because I ran out, and yet I could create these great scenes of Yazid being really scathing in return because Tony is so utterly stupid.

Lol, sometimes I find it quite liberating to write truly horrible characters, perhaps it’s about letting all my pent-up irritations out! What was the hardest part about writing it then?

Ali’s decision-making process. I’m a much colder person than Ali, and very quick to decide about ethical dilemmas. Ali’s prizing of family is a bit unfamiliar to me personally, so there were times I wanted to shake him and say, ‘Jesus, man up already! He nearly killed your boyfriend, strangle him with his own IV!’ But that wasn’t Ali, the character utterly refused to sway from his own morals, so I had to let him have his way. Git.

*sighs* characters – they never seem to do what you want them to! Speaking of which, who’s your favourite character in it? (I know, I know, favouritism!)

Yazid. Easily. He’s fun, he’s lively, he’s really still celebrating being alive. He’s the emotional bedrock of the novel, he provides Ali with both support and a kick up the backside when he needs one. He was just so completely likeable from the very beginning, finding a bit of humour in everything and being so upbeat when he had every reason to have walked out on the whole mess years ago. I loved him from start to finish, and he is probably my second favourite character of all time, and definitely the favourite in this book!

Aww, he kinda sounds like the friend we all wish we had. Just in case we’re not convinced already – why should we run out and buy it right now? 

Because there’s a scene where Yazid dresses up as Princess Jasmine and gets utterly hammered at a party. And another where, after Tony walks in on them, Yazid loses his patience and threatens to give Tony a naked hug to make him go away. And a third in which Ali likens Yazid’s night-time cuddling to sharing a bed with an octopus. You kind of want to see how those three can fit in the same story, right? (Hint: it’s Yazid.)

Plus, there’s simply tons of hurt/comfort, so if that’s your thing, this is your book.

Hehe, well I think I definitely need to read those scenes. If you’re feeling the same way, the book details are here.

Thicker Than Bone coverBlurb

If you could save someone’s life, would you? Anyone’s?

Ali’s older brother has a swastika tattooed on his knuckles, a prison ID number for nearly beating a man to death for the crime of being Middle Eastern, and spent his teenage years ruthlessly persecuting Ali for being gay.


Blood may be thicker than water, but Ali has spent most of his life desperate to prove that he is nothing like Tony. A committed vegetarian, charity-supporter, and blood donor, Ali would do anything for anyone, and is frequently teased by his partner, Yazid, for being too soft-hearted. Ali may share parentage with Tony, but he is determined not to share anything else if he can help it.


So when Tony contracts leukaemia, and Ali is the only match for the urgently-needed bone marrow transplant, Ali is caught between two equally awful choices: to refuse, and condemn a man to death, or to donate.


And in donating, save the life of the man who nearly murdered Ali’s Iraq-born boyfriend?

Click here to find out more, read a sample, and (of course) buy a copy of your own.

And don’t forget to follow Matthew on social media at the following links:

Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Tsu, or at his website

Have a great Friday 🙂